The Lords of Capital commission their politicians and media servants to spin lies all day long, because every fact of capitalist life demands the overthrow of the system.
“Black liberation/self-determination, by any definition, is wholly incompatible with the emerging imperial nightmare order.”
Late stage capitalism is eating US society alive, dissolving all bonds between peoples and savaging every human right that has not already been put on the “market” and made buyable. The rule of the super-rich makes all the rest of us super-small. Relations among individuals, classes and even workers doing exactly the same job on the assembly line are distorted and deformed to further enrich the likes of Jeff Bezos ($114 billion), Bill Gates ($106 billion) and Warren Buffett ($80.8 billion), who have grasped more wealth in their personal clutches than is held by the entire bottom half of the U.S. population. One out of five Americans owe more than they own, rendering them negative beings in U.S. society.
The pace of plutocratic reordering of society quickens with each passing year, as the rich deploy their wealth-power to erase every impediment to the absolute dictatorship of the moneyed class. They control the only two political parties that are allowed to govern, and every means of communication among those who are subject to that government. Thus, every attempt at insurgency against the plutocrats is organized through the various spectrums of plutocrat-owned media, and overheard by their Deep State apparatus. The plutocracy’s hegemony is so pervasive, even brand-name Black Lives Matter activists depend on them for funding, and constrain their politics accordingly. The revolution will not be subsidized.
“The rule of the super-rich makes all the rest of us super-small.”
The ethnic whiteness of this plutocrat class (in the U.S.) is both historically inevitable, given the racialized nature of the rise of capitalism – and politically immaterial, since the very existence of this class smashes all claims to humanity for the rest of us. A theoretical “diversification” of the plutocracy -- peppering it with Black and brown billionaires and sweetening the mix with women -- will make no difference whatsoever in the system’s social consequences, except to further delude the many-hued and -gendered classes and peoples at the bottom.
The plutocrats and their minions have stolen the people’s language, to facilitate the theft of everything else. Thus, the things we fight for – “jobs,” “freedom,” “security,” “homeland” – have been redefined to the point of nullification. What is a “job”? In the plutocrat-ruled USA, employment no longer entails any obligation of the business owner to the worker. These “gig,” “contract” and variable part-time arrangements are not “jobs” at all, in the previously understood sense. Yet Google, the premier corporation of the high-tech capitalist sector that, we are told, is creating the infrastructure of the future, has a workforce that is 54 percent “gig” workers -- temporary, contract and part-time employees.
“Employment no longer entails any obligation of the business owner to the worker.”
Ninety-five percent of the “jobs” created under President Obama in the post-meltdown period were gig “shit-jobs,” transforming the United State into a “shit-hole” country. The new, reorganized General Motors, bailed out by federal funds and union give-backs in the post-meltdown era, introduced four “tiers” of “jobs” that entail exactly the same sweat and toil but with widely varying pay, workdays, and pension and employment security – with devastating effect on worker and union solidarity, as is playing out in the current strike. The corporation, headed by a $22 million a year CEO, insists on retaining “flexibility” to shut down plants, export jobs and shuffle the surviving workers for maximum profit to shareholders. Workers rights, and the very definition of employment, itself, must therefore be “flexibly” defined out existence. This is the real stuff of capitalist restructuring.
Chicago, like every other U.S. city, restructures itself according to the dictates of its resident ruling class – the same guys that made Barack Obama a viable Democratic presidential contender. And, as in every other American metropolis, restructuring means creating an urban environment hostile to Black life. Heroic teacher union activists transformed their union to meet the corporate onslaught, with Black teachers in the lead. Striking teachers and support staff propose a people’s version of restructuring, funded by higher taxes on the rich and corporations, that allows the Black and brown populations to continue to live in the city while providing their children a quality education. This requires an affirmation of RIGHTS: to housing, to be free of police repression and the classroom-to-prison pipeline, and decent wages and working conditions for school personnel. On that, there can be no “flexibility,” because these are human rights. The fact that these rights are antithetical to the plutocratic capitalist order, simply means that capitalism must go, and that the struggle for Black self-determination and dignity is inseparable from the fight to defeat the Lords of Capital.
“Corporate restructuring means creating an urban environment hostile to Black life.”
The plutocrats and their servants are not super-smart -- the billionaire buffoon in the White House has shown the whole world that some oligarchs are idiots – but they have vast powers of obfuscation and have given their official and media agents full license to lie as a matter of daily course. As the contradictions of their roller-coaster rule multiply, the corporate narrative of unfolding events becomes more and more fantastical, divorced almost wholly from facts and history. An almost comic example is the corporate Democrats’ insistence that Medicare for All will “take away” people’s private health insurance – as if folks are losing anything but a huge monthly bill that fattens a totally unproductive, parasitical industry. An extremely unfunny lie, is the universal corporate narrative on Syria and Libya that erases Washington’s longtime alliance with al Qaeda. U.S. aggression against Haiti has always been shielded by a wall of corporate lies. The corporate media don’t tell too many lies about the U.S. military occupation of Africa, or the six million dead Congolese victims of U.S. Africa policy, because corporate media seldom report on Africa. On foreign affairs, truth is almost never on the corporate menu.
“The corporate narrative of unfolding events is divorced almost wholly from facts and history.”
Russiagate is the “Game of Thrones” of lies, a never-ending CIA-signature saga.
It is beyond the people’s capacity to correct the daily avalanche of corporate lies – although publications like BAR do try, and are punished with rigged Google algorithms for our efforts. The people must make their own facts on the ground, in confrontation with the oligarchs, and then build a body of knowledge and a fighting culture on those struggles. The system will implode of its own contradictions at unknown future junctures, but if people are not organized and aware of the causes of collapse, the consequences will be far more deadly.
Black liberation/self-determination, by any definition, is wholly incompatible with the emerging imperial nightmare order, and can only be forged in a struggle for socialism – with or without effective white U.S. allies. The climate crisis makes every argument for socialism much more urgent. For the first time in human history, there is a deadline for the people’s victory – the creation of species-saving energy production and use structures for global humanity – which cannot possibly occur under the current dictatorship of capital.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at [email protected].
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